A woman of beatitudes (A continuation)

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

MOTHER IGNACIA DEL ESPIRITU SANTO (Foundress of the Religious of the Virgin Mary)

“Blest too are the sorrowing; they shall be consoled. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the land,” - Mt. 5:4 - 5

ST. PAUL, writing to the Ephesians, warned them against living like pagans whose minds are empty and whose understanding is darkened. He writes, “They are estranged from a life in God because of their ignorance and their resistance; without remorse they have abandoned themselves to lust…” It is a horrible experience to be immune to sin, so as not to feel remorse and sorrow for it. We should be so grieved over our moral and spiritual shortcomings that we cannot rest until we are reconciled with God.


Sensitivity to sin

Fr. Murillo Velarde, SJ gives us a glimpse of Mother Ignacia’s sensitivity to sin when in preparation for her entrance at the Beaterio de Santo Domingo she decided to make a general confession. He writes, “Desiring to prepare herself by a general confession, she went to our college to confess to Fr. Paul Klein, who advised her to examine herself in retirement at the house designated for the Madre de la Congregacion.”

She stayed, examined herself in retirement, removed all the blocks which prevented her from listening to God and God did not let her down. Having held out her being to God in sorrow and contrition for sin, God took her and set her apart to console her. “Blest too are the sorrowing; they shall be consoled.” God set her apart to become His vessel of election among the Yndias. God set her apart to put an end to her yearning to become a beata. God set her apart to satisfy her yearning to be a intimately united to Him. God set her apart to be a living memorial of His love and care for the lowly and the down trodden.


The third beatitude shows real greatness in meekness. In Hebrew, it describes a person who in loving and humble obedience accepts the guidance of God and His providence and never grows resentful and bitter about anything which life may bring. This is the attitude of Job when he said, “The Lord gave and the Lord takes away; blessed be His Name.” It is also the attitude of Mary who said, “Behold the handmade of the Lord.” Fr. Velarde said of Mother Ignacia as a very humble woman and her humility made her completely docile to the Holy Spirit; and the disposition of the early beatas to commit themselves to difficult missions.

In Greek thought, meekness is associated with discipline, control, strength, and paradoxically with gentleness. It is a gentleness of the strong and spirited. It is the strong passion to right what is wrong and challenge injustice and gentleness which has its source in weakness or indifference.

The beatitude also in effect says: “Blessed is the person who has self-mastery over every instinct and passion.” In meekness lies the essence of obedience to the will of God, openness and responsiveness to people. To have the discipline of meekness is to have the power which makes life great, for only when one has self-mastery that she can lead others.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 13, 2014.


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